Belgium sets up counterterrorism platform

The Belgian intelligence services intend to work together more closely in future to ensure no information goes astray.  The civilian and military intelligence services are to set up a joint team.

Six members of the military intelligence's antiterrorism team will in future be based in the civilian intelligence service building.  Together with members of civilian intelligence they will form a counterterrorism platform that tackles all dossiers related to terrorism.

"We hope to keep communication lines as short as possible" says Claude Van de Voorde, the head of military intelligence ADIV.  The move comes after an evaluation following the Zaventem and metro blasts in 2016.  It emerged that the workings of the two services needed to be knitted closer together.

"First we drew up a national strategic intelligence plan closely considering who does what.  We identified 13 projects that are now being developed.  One is the joint platform."

There has been considerable mistrust between the two intel services in the past.  Today the two intel chiefs are convinced distrust must disappear.  Mentality too must change but it won't happen overnight.

Claude Van de Voorde: "We have had to look at procedures, at how we work together and how to restore trust."

The two bodies will also co-operate in other fields. Combined observation teams are planned.  Claude Van de Voorde: "Co-operation is the future, not only at home but also with international partners."

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